Originally Posted by MMAMickey
That they do.
On a prima facie basis, punches have more reach...
Not sure what you mean by this.
...and more chance of reaching their target due to being a smaller object than an open palm.
Force applied, via a weapon with less cross-section at point of contact--such as a punch--would likely have more penetrating power than a palm-strike (all else being equal). For the same reason, a closed fist might also be better able to hit--with precision--a smaller target area than a palm. However, why would punches necessarily have "more chance of reaching their target" due to 'being a smaller object"?
The better reach of a punch may obviously increase the chance of "reaching the target"...but "smaller object" as a reason for this increased chance--that, I don't get.
I'm always willing to learn new things, so if you can clear this up, it'd be appreciated.
I think he is talking about the open hand having a higher chance of being blocked due to it being wider.
just a guess.
You're specimens are gonna need some kind of crazy self control if you try to mix it up (fists to body, palms to head, e.g.). I screw around with this stuff when I'm sparring in mma gloves with a beginner and trying to challenge myself, but when I get caught with something my response is going to be reflex, not some screwy new rule set (however scientifically sound, mind you). My experience supports the earlier comment about reach advantage to puncher, but of course reach doesn't always win the day. I predict serious facial cuts from puncher to punchee and eye gouging of the palm heel struck. Enjoy.
I always wanted to see a comparison of vertical fist vs. horizontal fist as well, simply because I hear a lot of chatter about how the vertical fist is better for bareknuckle fighting but I've not seen any actual evidence beyond the fact that bareknuckle boxers punched with vertical fists.
As I understand it the whole horizontal fist/vertical fist/palm strike argument boils down to fear of the boxer's fracture. A palm strike would certainly avoid that break, although it could endanger the fingers if improperly executed. As for the vertical vs. horizontal, it all comes down to the 3-knuckle landing. The idea is you can avoid the boxer's fracture by landing punches on the lower 3 knuckles of the hand (pinky, ring, middle) & avoiding a top 2-knuckle landing. The argument is that it's easier to consistently land with 3 knuckles if you use a vertical fist. I asked my boxing coach & he said maybe, & you don't lose anything for power by using a vertical fist, but you do lose about 3-inches of reach if you don't roll your shoulder to make a horizontal fist (a palm strike loses even more reach). I think it's an area worth exploring for those interested in self-defense & also for MMA (where the lighter gloves do seem to allow more hand brakes than we see in boxing).
I'll be interested to hear the results of any sparring or training experimentation done to explore these issues. My HEMA group will also likely be playing with different permutations of hand strikes to make sense of the unarmed striking in the medieval manuals.
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